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Behind the NIHF Scenes

Learn More About Open Mic

Thanks to the incredible work of our education team, each year children are able to enjoy a brand-new experience at Camp Invention®, the flagship STEM program from the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF). By applying a thorough curriculum development and piloting process, we make sure each summer offers fun and engaging activities specially designed to inspire the next generation of innovators.

Open Mic is one of four exciting modules in our all-new 2021 Camp Invention program, Recharge! Read below to learn what your child can look forward to in this confidence-building module.


Find Your Voice with Open Mic

Each camper gets their very own wireless microphone, which they can use not just to amplify but to change their voices in fun ways. Taking their microphone apart, children discover how it works and explore its parts to find inspiration for building their own invention.

Throughout the week, children follow the steps in the Camp Invention Design Thinking Process to take the big ideas in their imaginations and transform them into amazing invention prototypes. These steps include:

  1. Identify Campers identify a problem they want to solve, a gap they want to close or an invention opportunity they want to pursue.
  2. Explore Next, they explore patent drawings, helping them push the boundaries of what has already been created.
  3. Sketch Children sketch (and mold) some potential solutions, and then choose which one they are most excited to turn into a reality!
  4. Prototype After hearing from NIHF Inductees and a Collegiate Inventors Competition® Finalist about the value of inventing, as well as discovering new DIY prototyping tips, kids dive into building their own invention prototypes.
  5. Protect Children explore intellectual property, learning how inventors protect their creations and they design an original, trademark-worthy logo for their invention.
  6. Pitch Finally, campers develop an exciting pitch and step up to the mic to share their idea with the world!

Open Mic gives campers the opportunity to learn from NIHF Inductee Jim West, co-inventor of the electret microphone the very technology campers explore as they remove the speaker grill on their microphones! Not only do children hear invention insights from West, he is also the voice inside their microphones — encouraging them to use his invention to voice their ideas.

The Innovation Mindset Difference

All Camp Invention activities use the Innovation Mindset: a growth mindset developed through lessons from our world-changing NIHF Inductees, which children can use throughout their lives.

Open Mic highlights the following aspects of the Innovation Mindset:

Confidence: Building confidence while sharing original ideas and delivering effective invention pitches.

Intellectual Property: Discovering the power and purpose of intellectual property through lessons from visionary inventors.

Design Thinking: Practicing design thinking by moving from sketches to prototypes to marketable products. Consisting of nine skills and traits that are reinforced each time a child applies them, every part of this mindset is strengthened by participating in Camp Invention’s curriculum.

Learn More About Camp Invention

Not sure if you’ll want an in-person or at-home experience for your child this summer? No problem! With our new Peace of Mind Promise, you can sign up for camp today and switch your format choice up to six weeks before camp starts.

To learn more about Camp Invention, we invite you to visit our website.

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